Osaka overcomes another slow start to beat Sevastova in Melbourne

Osaka overcomes another slow start to beat Sevastova in Melbourne

The 2018 US Open champion has been tested quite a bit at the Australian Open, but she has found ways to advance.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka is into her second Grand Slam quarterfinal after another comeback win at the Australian Open, this time over Anastasija Sevastova.

Osaka had to work for nearly two hours on Rod Laver Arena to subdue the gritty Sevastova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a fourth-round match studded by service breaks. She'll next play sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who had a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys.

Osaka won a tight three-setter when she met Sevastova at the Brisbane International in the first week of the season.

Sevastova grabbed the lead in the opening set on Monday, and clinched it with a deft drop shot that forced Osaka to fly a forehand over the baseline.

Osaka had to stave off two break points in the third game of the second to edge ahead.

The fourth-seeded Osaka grew in confidence from the narrow escape and lifted her tempo and shot-making consistency, grabbing the crucial service break in the sixth game.

Serving to level the match, Osaka fended off a break-back point with a brilliant forehand volley after a long, tense baseline rally. Two points later, the match was heading into the deciding set.

Osaka broke serve to open third set to maintain the momentum.


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